COURS IFSI

Anglais médical : tout savoir sur les virus et leurs voies de transmission !

Ce nouveau cours d’anglais, élaboré par Virginia Allum, auteur et consultante EMP (English for Medical Purposes) traite des virus et des moyens de transmissions. Les corrigés des exercices sont à retrouver en PDF en bas de page. N'hésitez pas à vous servir du dictionnaire en ligne Wordreference. Vous trouverez à la fin de cet article les corrections des exercices qui vous sont proposés téléchargeables au format pdf.

Activity 1

Match the terms with the French translation.

1. antibody a) vaccin
2. antigenic shift b) souche virale
3. antibody c) vaccin
4. antigenic shift d) souche virale
5. antibody e) vaccin
6. antigenic shift f) souche virale
7. antibody g) vaccin
8. antigenic shift h) souche virale
9. antibody i) vaccin
10. antigenic shift j) souche virale
11. antibody k) vaccin
12. antigenic shift l) souche virale

Activity 2

Complete the definitions.

  1.  ______________________:  the process of swapping pieces of genetic material
  2.  ______________________: the permanent change in the genetic material of a virus
  3.  ______________________: an individual form of life
  4.  ______________________: blood protein which counteracts a specific antigen
  5.  ______________________: substance which stimulates the production of antibodies to provide immunity
  6.  ______________________: a new virus which may represent a new strain or a virus which is not yet known
  7.  ______________________: major change to a virus
  8.  ______________________: living cell which is capable of being invaded by an infectious agent
  9.  ______________________: disease which is prevalent over the world
  10.  ______________________: permanent alteration in the DNA sequence of a virus
  11.  ______________________: biological process whereby the healthiest organisms are able to survive
  12.  ______________________: the genetic material of an organism, e.g. DNA and RNA.

Activity 3

Read the text and answer the questions.

What are viruses?

Viruses are small, simple organisms, the smallest of which only have a few genes, whilst the largest viruses have around 200. Unlike other micro-organisms they are not technically living organisms because they need a host to reproduce. Viruses invade the immune system before mutating and recombining.

Mutation occurs when an error is incorporated in the viral genome. Some mutations are harmful to the survival of viruses and are eliminated through natural selection. 

Virus recombination occurs when the viruses of two different virus strains coinfect the same host cell and members of the same virus type (e.g. two influenza viruses).  This is called  antigenic shift, because the recombination forms a virus which is radically different from the ancestor strain. Called a novel virus, it has the potential to spread rapidly potentially causing a pandemic, because humans will not have had time to respond effectively to the new virus.

Generally, hosts protect themselves from viruses by developing antibodies which lock onto the outer surface proteins of viruses to prevent the viruses from entering host cells. Viruses which appear different from viruses which have already infected host cells therefore have a survival advantage, because antibodies have not been produced to fight them.

  1. Viruses are unlike bacteria because they ….
    A  are not living organisms
    B  are large when viewed under a microscope
    C  only have a round shape
  2. In order to survive, viruses …
    A   circulate freely in the immune system
    B  need a host so they can replicate
    C  change the form of living hosts
  3. The term gene mutation means …
    A   formation of a different gene
    B   addition of more genes into a cell
    C    a radical change in a gene
  4. The term recombination refers to…
    A   the joining of two virus types in one host cell
    B   the rearrangement of the genes of a host cell
    C   the rebirth of a virus after destruction of the host
  5. An antigenic shift causes …
    A  the development of a new or novel virus
    B   new genes to infect the host cell
    C   antibodies to form in host cells
  6. The way host cells protect themselves by…
    A   developing surface proteins
    B   locking their outer surface to virus entry
    C   developing antibodies

Word Study: Spread of Diseases

Do you know these terms?

epidemic outbreak of a disease in a large area
pandemic outbreak of a disease in an extensive area and/ or globally
communicable disease a contagious disease spread either by direct contact (touching) or indirect means, e.g. droplet infection from a sneeze
infectious disease a disease which is spread by an infectious agent, e.g. bacteria
outbreak sudden increase in the incidence of a disease in a community
eradication world-wide reduction of a disease to zero around the world

Activity 4

Select the correct term from the list above.

  1. Measles is a is a virus that causes a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, sore throat and later a rash that spreads over the whole body. It is a highly contagious disease which is spread through the air.
  2. Clostridium Difficile (C.diff) infection is an infectious disease which causes diarrhoea.
  3. In 2003, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) pandemic resulted in the death of nearly 800 people worldwide.
  4. The 1951 an influenza epidemic (A/H1N1) caused an unusually high death toll in England.
  5. The 2014-2016 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa was the largest since the discovery of the disease in 1976.

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Author and Consultant in English for Medical Purposes

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